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Love, Dedication, and Hard Working Scientists

Gary F. Jones Author Interview

The Ice Man’s Curse follows a scientist tasked with looking at some tissue samples and ends up in a race against time to stop a mysterious illness. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

A half-remembered comment about viral diseases so virulent they completely wiped out tiny villages in medieval Europe, and since all the people were dead, the viruses died too. That is something like what used to happen in villages in central and eastern Africa. Ebola would show up and wipe everyone out before there was a chance to spread the disease to larger cities. Then a good road was built across Africa, and a disease that had been self-limiting threatened to become a pandemic.

What was your approach to writing the interactions between characters?

Those were based on my memories of the characters I’d encountered in small towns as I grew up and later as I practiced large animal veterinary medicine.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

The importance of love, the dedication and hard work of scientists and medical staff, the rock-solid certainty that in any bad situation, some damned fool will make it worse.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

Stalking Throckmorton,” a tale about a man who searches for his great-grandfather’s buried wealth while a murderer watches him will be released in March. “Last Gasp,” another Throckmorton mystery, is in preparation. No release date has been set.

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Nature, climate, and stupidity produce a pandemic.

Grant Farnsworth, a post-doc student, veterinarian, and virologist at the University of Minnesota is upset when his professor tells him to prepare to work on tissue samples from a 1,200-year-old corpse called the Iceman, that was found in the Swiss Alps.

Grant is already working seven days a week and his wife is eight months pregnant with their second child. The situation becomes more complicated when a Swiss professor, to avoid regulations, smuggles the samples into the United States, putting Grant and his professor in legal jeopardy.

When a blizzard diverts the professor’s flight to Chicago, Customs is hectic, and the professor mistakenly swaps his suitcase with Frank, a drug mule. When Frank discovers the mistake he and a friend follow the professor north on I-94 with the intention to do whatever is necessary to recover the missing drugs.

When snow forces the professor to stop at a motel in the hamlet of Kirby, Wisconsin, he has no idea that he’s carrying drugs and that his life is in jeopardy.

When Switzerland announces that those who handled Iceman samples are ill, and several have died, Grant is sent to Kirby to find the Swiss professor and isolate the samples. At the same time, the CDC learns of the samples in Kirby and dispatches Dr. Sybil Erypet to Fort McCoy, a nearby Army base, to get the samples under control.

Between dangerous drug mules and infected tissue samples, many lives in the snow-bound village are in jeopardy.
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